Giraffe House

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The Giraffe House at the Birmingham Zoo was constructed about 1960. The need for it arose when the zoo unexpectedly received two giraffes which had been captured in the wild by a Thousand Oaks, California wildlife dealer. The pair were intended for the Oklahoma City Zoo, but when officials there changed their minds, the giraffes were offered to other zoos and director Tom Briskey made the purchase, knowing that African governments would soon tighten restrictions on the export of animals.

Fund-raising for a giraffe house, expected to cost $40,000 to $50,000, began immediately under the aegis of the Zoological and Botanical Garden Society. WSGN-AM and the Birmingham News sent staffers to man a wishing well-shaped donation booth in the zoo.

An extension of the giraffe enclosure, designed by Giattina Fisher Aycock architects, was completed in 1991.